Posts Tagged ‘Triple A’

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, March 28, 2016) The national average price of gas climbed above $2 per gallon last Thursday for the first time in 2016, and average prices have increased for 21 consecutive days. Today’s average price of $2.04 per gallon is up six cents per gallon on the week and 30 cents per gallon for the month. Despite the recent increase, average gas prices remain 39 cents per gallon less than a year ago.

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Many refineries are conducting seasonal maintenance, which has led to a decline in fuel production. In addition, refineries are preparing to produce summer-blend gasoline. This blend of gasoline is mandated by the EPA and is less prone to evaporate and contribute to air pollution in warmer temperatures. Retailers in many parts of the country are required to sell this summer-blend of gasoline by June 1, and leading up to this deadline, refineries and storage facilities also adjust their supply in order to comply with the regulation. During the months of March and April, refineries will begin the transition to producing and storing this blend of gasoline, and often “sell-off” or “draw-down” on their existing supply of gasoline in order to make room for this seasonal blend of gas. This reduction in supply often leads to higher prices at the pump, because during this transition period, demand for gasoline generally begins to increase as warmer temperatures motivate more drivers to take to the roads. The combination of the above factors generally contributes to rising prices at the pump, leading into the busy summer driving season.

California ($2.77) remains the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline, and inventories in the state reportedly fell to an 11-week low due to ongoing refinery challenges and increased demand. Consumers in second-place Hawaii ($2.56) are paying 21 cents per gallon less than the market leader, and regional neighbors Nevada ($2.41), Alaska ($2.29) and Washington ($2.28) round out the top five most expensive markets for gas. On the other end of the spectrum, New Jersey ($1.83) and Missouri ($1.85) are the nation’s least expensive markets.

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Retail averages in the vast majority of states (47) are higher on the week, and consumers in 28 states and Washington, D.C. are paying a nickel or more per gallon at the pump versus one week ago. Gas prices are up double digits in five states with the largest weekly increases experienced by drivers in Arizona (+14 cents), New Hampshire (+11 cents), Massachusetts (+11 cents) and Connecticut (+11 cents).  Prices have fallen over this same period in three states, but in less dramatic fashion. Averages are down on the week in Michigan (-6 cents), North Dakota (fractions of a penny), and Minnesota (fractions of a penny).

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With the exception of Hawaii (-1 cents), consumers nationwide are paying more to refuel their vehicles month-over-month. The average price at the pump is up by a dime or more per gallon in the vast majority of states (48) and Washington, D.C. on the month, and motorists in 35 states are paying averages that are up by a quarter or more per gallon over this same period. The biggest jumps in price have been in states west of the Rockies: Arizona (+52 cents), Nevada (+44 cents), and California (+40 cents).

Despite rising averages, consumers nationwide continue to see yearly savings at the pump. Drivers in 47 states and Washington, D.C. are saving more than a quarter per gallon when they refuel their vehicles, and averages are down more than 50 cents in a total of six states compared to this same date last year. Year-over-year, the largest savings in the price of gas are in: Alaska (-63 cents), Illinois (-61 cents) and Oregon (-59 cents).

Varying expectations of future supply and demand have contributed to the global oil market’s overall volatility. As a result, the global price of crude oil continues to seesaw on news related to potential market influencers, and many traders are focused on the upcoming meeting between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC producers scheduled for April 17. An overall bearish sentiment persists and market fundamentals continue to point to oversupply. Despite ongoing talks, there is persistent skepticism regarding the prospects for reductions or freezes in production, and crude oil prices are likely to continue to remain volatile in the near-term.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil opened the week trading a bit higher, following a week of fluctuating prices due to news of increasing crude oil inventories balanced against reports of falling rig counts in the United States. The NYMEX was closed on Friday in observance of Good Friday, and WTI closed out Thursday’s formal trading sesson on the NYMEX down 33 cents and settled at $39.46 per barrel.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, March 21, 2016) Pump prices have climbed higher for two straight weeks, and the national average price of gas may soon climb above $2 per gallon for the first time this year. Gas prices have increased largely due to seasonal increases in fuel demand and reduced production as some refineries conduct maintenance.  Today’s average price of $1.98 per gallon is a the highest daily mark since January, and drivers are paying a nickel more per gallon than a week ago and 27 cents more per than a month ago. Despite retail averages rising, consumers continue to benefit from yearly savings and prices remain 44 cents per gallon cheaper than a year ago.

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Gas prices tend to reach the highest levels of the year in the spring before the summer driving season. As the weather turns warmer and days grow longer, people tend to drive more, which results in increased demand. Many families also take spring break road trips this time of year, which means they may use more gasoline than normal. This increase in demand comes at the same time that many refineries conduct maintenance to prepare equipment for the busy summer driving season, which leads to a temporary decline in fuel production. In addition, refineries also begin to transition to summer-blend gasoline, which is more expensive to produce, but mandated due to the fact that it is causes less air pollution at warmer temperatures. These factors typically lead to higher gas prices this time of year and have helped push prices higher in recent weeks.

Drivers on the West Coast are currently experiencing a surge in the price at the pump due to the imbalance between supply and demand, and averages are up double-digits on the week in select markets.

ExxonMobil’s Torrance, Calif. refinery experienced a power outage and is reportedly delaying the restart of its gasoline production equipment. The refinery produces about 10 percent of California’s gasoline, has been operating at reduced capacity since February 2015, and this additional reduction in supply is contributing factor to prices moving higher in the region.

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For the second consecutive week, California ($2.68) leads the nation with the highest average price for retail gasoline. Consumers in the Golden State are paying 13 cents per gallon more than second-place Hawaii ($2.55), and gas prices could move higher in the near term due to refinery issues. Nevada ($2.32), Washington ($2.24) and Alaska ($2.22) round out the top five most expensive markets. The nation’s least expensive market for retail gasoline is New Jersey ($1.73), which is also the only state with an average price below $1.75 per gallon.

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Consumers in the vast majority of states (45) and Washington, D.C. are paying more at the pump versus one week ago. Retail averages in 19 states are up by a nickel or more per gallon week-over-week, and gas prices in Arizona (+19 cents), Nevada (+12 cents) and Florida (+11 cents) have climbed higher by more than a dime per gallon over this same period. Averages are down in five states on the week, but have fallen in a less dramatic fashion. Motorists in Missouri (-4 cents), Illinois (-3 cents), Minnesota (-2 cents), Ohio (-1 cents) and Indiana (fractions of a penny) are experiencing weekly savings at the pump, but prices have fallen by less than a nickel per gallon in each of these states.

With the exception of Hawaii (-4 cents) and Alaska (-4 cents), two of the nation’s most expensive markets, drivers nationwide have seen prices rise by more than a nickel per gallon compared to a month ago. Gas prices are up double-digits in 43 states and Washington, D.C. on the month, and consumers in 26 states have seen prices climb by a quarter per gallon or more over this same period. Drivers in the Midwestern states of Nebraska (+41 cents), Kentucky (+40 cents), Kansas (+38 cents) and Iowa (+38 cents) are experiencing the largest monthly increases in price due to a significant decline in regional production as local refineries either conduct maintenance or cut back on production due to low margins.

Consumers in every state and Washington, D.C. are benefiting from yearly savings at the pump of more than a quarter per gallon. Averages in 13 states are down 50 cents or more year-over-year, with the largest savings in states west of the Rockies: Alaska (-71 cents), Oregon (-67 cents), California (-60 cents) and Utah (-60 cents).

For the first time in 13 weeks, the U.S. oil rig count increased, which raises the possibility of continued strong production in the United States despite relatively low crude oil prices. Both Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed last week with gains, but each benchmark moved lower on Friday as oversupply concerns again come into focus. Global oil prices are expected to continue to move in response to ongoing discussions by some of the world’s top producers to potentially freeze production, which could be finalized at a meeting scheduled for April 17. The U.S. dollar is also in focus after posting its largest two-day loss in value since 2009. All eyes are on the Federal Reserve to see if corrective action is taken to help boost its value. A weaker dollar makes oil relatively less expensive for investors holding other currencies, which could help offset some of the market’s losses.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was down 76 cents to settle at $39.44 per barrel.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, March 14, 2016) Gas prices have jumped by 12 cents per gallon this week, which is the largest weekly increase since early March 2015. Prices increased by double digits due to a decline in gasoline supplies, relatively strong demand and continued refinery maintenance. The national average has moved higher for 18 of the past 20 days for a total of 23 cents per gallon, and today’s price of $1.94 per gallon is the highest average in two months. Relatively low oil costs continue to provide drivers with year-over-year savings at the pump, and consumers are saving 50 cents per gallon compared to this same date last year.

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Prices typically move higher at this time of year as gasoline demand begins to increase and refineries conduct seasonal maintenance. This year’s refinery maintenance season is characterized by lower-than-expected prices for crude oil and ample supplies, which should help keep pump prices relatively low compared to recent years. Prices in some regions may move significantly higher in the near term due to fluctuations in local supply and demand associated with continued maintenance and preparations for summer-blend gasoline in advance of the June 1 deadline for retail facilities to sell the cleaner blend.

California ($2.59) regained its spot as the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline, and drivers in the state are paying a nickel more per gallon than second-place Hawaii ($2.54). Prices in the state reportedly moved higher due to a significant drawdown in supply, coupled with increased gasoline demand, which is typical for this time of year. Regional neighbors Nevada ($2.20), Washington ($2.18) and Alaska ($2.18) join in the rankings as the top five most expensive markets for gas. New Jersey ($1.69) and South Carolina ($1.70) are the nation’s least expensive markets for retail gasoline, and a total of six states are posting prices at or below $1.75, which is14 states less than a week ago.

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Drivers nationwide are paying more to refuel their vehicles than one week ago and prices in 47 states and Washington, D.C. are up by a nickel or more per gallon. Averages are up by double digits in 29 states and Washington, D.C. over this period, with the largest weekly increases in Illinois (+18 cents), Missouri (+18 cents), Virginia (+17 cents) and Kentucky (+17 cents).

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Retail averages in the vast majority of states (47) are up on the month, and consumers in 35 states have seen prices increase by a dime or more. The biggest jumps in price are seen in the Midwestern states of Minnesota (+54 cents), Illinois (+50 cents), Oklahoma (+48 cents) and Kansas (+47 cents), and averages in a total of 16 states are up by more than a quarter per gallon month-over-month. Alaska (-13 cents), Hawaii (-8 cents) and Idaho (-2 cents) are the only three states where drivers are experiencing savings at the pump versus one month ago.

Yearly discounts persist and motorists nationwide are saving more than a quarter per gallon for gasoline. Gas prices are down by 50 cents or more in 22 states and Washington, D.C., with the largest year-over-year savings seen in California (-79 cents), Oregon (-79 cents), Alaska (-74 cents) and Arizona (-73 cents). Retail averages on the West Coast moved noticeably higher this time last year due to a major refinery outage, which has led to a significant increase in year-over-year savings for the region.

Projected reductions in global oil supply and Iran’s slower-than-expected return to the global oil market reportedly contributed to both Brent and West Texas Intermediate closing out the week at 2016 highs. However, oil prices opened this week’s trading session lower on the news that Iran plans to increase oil production significantly. Conversations about when and if the market has reached its bottom persist, and market fundamentals continue to point to supply outpacing demand, which could cause prices to once again turn lower.

The latest data shows that the U.S. oil rig count fell to 386 rigs last week, marking 12 straight weeks of rig-count declines. According to the U.S. EIA, domestic production declined from year-ago levels for the first time in more than four years, largely due to lower-than-expected crude oil prices. Despite this reduction in production, the agency lowered its projections for crude oil prices because domestic production remains more resilient than expected.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up 66 cents and settled at $38.40 per barrel, which marked the fourth straight week of oil price increases.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, March 7, 2016) The national average price jumped six cents on the week, the largest one week increase since the beginning of the year. Today’s average price is $1.81 per gallon, and the national average is likely to continue to move higher due to spring turnaround activity and reductions in supply in select regional markets. Drivers are paying six cents more per gallon to refuel their vehicles versus one month ago; however, significant yearly discounts remain and pump prices are down 65 cents on the year.

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In advance of the busy summer driving season, refineries typically undergo scheduled maintenance during the first two quarters of the year. This year’s spring turnaround has been characterized by lower-than-expected prices, which has prompted a number of refineries to adjust their maintenance schedules and/or cut production in response to abundant supplies. Refineries are also reportedly beginning to reduce production in preparation for the seasonal switchover to summer-blend gasoline. Prices generally move during this time of year and the impact of this shift in schedule, combined with other seasonal factors, may cause prices to swing at the regional level at a faster rate than normal as supply and demand seek balance. The lower price of crude oil and abundant supplies should keep a ceiling on how high gas prices move in the coming months, and barring any unexpected disruptions in supply, drivers should continue to benefit from relative savings at the pump.

Pump prices are above the $2 per gallon benchmark in a total of five states, all located on the West Coast where averages tend to lead the market. Motorists in Hawaii ($2.54) are paying the nation’s highest averages for gasoline, followed by regional neighbors California ($2.45) Alaska ($2.16) Washington ($2.10) and Nevada ($2.04). A total of 20 states are posting gas prices at or below $1.75 per gallon, which is down by 11 states in comparison to last week’s report. Arizona ($1.55) and South Carolina ($1.55) are the nation’s least expensive markets for retail gasoline.

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Gas prices generally moved higher on the week, largely due to the spring refinery maintenance season being underway in many parts of the country. Pump prices are up week-over-week in a total of 48 states and consumers in 28 states are paying a nickel or more per gallon to refuel their vehicles versus one week ago. Averages climbed higher by double-digits in eight states over this same period, with Michigan (+14 cents), Colorado (+12 cents), West Virginia (+11 cents) and Kansas (+11 cents) posting the largest weekly increases in price. Outside of this trend, drivers in three states are paying less on the week: Alaska (-5 cents), Hawaii (-3 cents) and Washington, D.C. (fractions of a penny).

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Averages moved by double-digits on both ends of the spectrum month-over-month. Retail averages are up on the month in 26 states, with the biggest jumps in price occurring in the Midwestern states of Michigan (+34 cents), Minnesota (+34 cents), Ohio (+33 cents) and Indiana (+28 cents). Prices are down in 24 states and Washington, D.C. over this same period, with the largest savings at the pump experienced by drivers in Arizona (-22 cents), Alaska (-20 cents) and Nevada (-17 cents).

Year-over-year drivers nationwide are experiencing savings at the pump of more than a quarter per gallon. Pump prices are down by more than 50 cents per gallon in 44 states and Washington, D.C. in comparison to this same date last year. The largest yearly savings are seen in California (-98 cents), Arizona (-91 cents), Oregon (-90 cents) and Nevada (-83 cents), where prices are down by more than 75 cents per gallon at the pump over this same period. This time last year California was grappling with a major outage at an ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance, CA refinery, and prices were sent noticeably higher in the region due to supply shortages.

Both global oil benchmarks, Brent and WTI, closed out the week posting gains due to speculations that the lower price environment was beginning to take its toll on global oil production. Market fundamentals are starting to point toward supply and demand coming more into balance in the nearer-term, despite a considerable amount of skepticism remaining around the potential deal between Nigeria, Russia and other production countries to freeze output in an effort to help stabilize prices.

Reports of a strengthening U.S. economy and a falling U.S. rig count helped to boost the domestic benchmark. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up $1.35 and settled at $35.92 per barrel. This represents WTI’s highest settlement in two months.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, February 29, 2016) The national average price of gas has increased for six consecutive days for the first time since early November, though drivers continue to enjoy relatively low prices at the pump. Gas prices have climbed by four cents per gallon versus one week ago and are likely to continue to rise as the spring refinery maintenance season ramps up. Monthly and yearly savings persist and drivers are saving five cents on the month and 65 cents on the year.

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Gas prices are moving higher in many parts of the country as refinery maintenance season gets underway and as some refineries cut production in response to abundant supplies. Swings in gas prices at the regional level are typical for this time of year as many refineries conduct maintenance in advance of the busy summer driving season. Despite these seasonal increases, abundant gasoline supplies and lower crude oil costs should keep gas prices from rising as high as drivers have seen in recent years.

Hawaii ($2.56) is the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline, and regional neighbors California ($2.39), Alaska ($2.20), and Washington ($2.03) are the only states with averages above $2 per gallon. Pump prices in the majority of states (31) are at or below the $1.75 per gallon and consumers in Arizona ($1.52), Tennessee ($1.53) and South Carolina ($1.53) are paying the nation’s lowest averages at the pump.

Gas prices are relatively steady and have moved by +/- 3 cents per gallon in 30 states and Washington, D.C. week-over-week. Typical for this time of year, gas prices are quickly moving higher in some markets. Prices climbed higher by double digits on the week in 10 states with the largest price jumps in Iowa (+18 cents), Oklahoma (+18 cents) and Minnesota (+17 cents).  Outside of this trend of weekly increases, drivers in 20 states and Washington, D.C. are paying less to refuel their vehicles versus one week ago. Prices have fallen in less dramatic fashion in these states, and Arizona (-5 cents) is the only state where gas prices are down a nickel per gallon week-over-week.

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Gas prices are down in 36 states and Washington, D.C. over the month, with the largest monthly savings west of the Rockies in Arizona (-31 cents), Nevada (-29 cents) and Alaska (-25 cents). Drivers in 14 states are paying more at the pump versus one month ago, and prices are up by a dime or more per gallon in the Midwestern states of Minnesota (+16 cents), Oklahoma (+13 cents), Iowa (+11 cents), Ohio (+11 cents) and Illinois (+10 cents).

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Gas prices in nearly every state (49) and Washington, D.C., are discounted by more than a quarter per gallon, and drivers in 43 states are saving 50 cents or more per gallon on the year. California (-93 cents), Arizona (-86 cents), Oregon (-80 cents) and Nevada (-75 cents) are posting the largest yearly discounts at the pump.

Global crude oil supply remains front of mind and the price of oil continues to swing in response to shifting expectations of future supply and demand. The world’s top oil producing nations recently have considered potential agreements that would freeze production levels to stabilize prices. Despite these discussions, many of these countries rely on oil profits to finance national operations and social programs, and thus any agreement faces significant headwinds as countries look to fill budget deficits by producing oil at higher levels. Both global benchmarks, Brent and West Texas Intermediate, managed to post weekly gains, though market fundamentals continue to point to abundant supplies.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was down 29 cents and settled at $32.78 per barrel. This price point represents a weekly gain of more than $3 per barrel.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Michael Green Contact TileNew AAA Foundation Research Finds Culture of Indifference despite High Death Toll

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 25, 2016) – About 87 percent of drivers engaged in at least one risky behavior while behind the wheel within the past month, according to latest research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. These unsafe behaviors include driving while distracted, impaired, drowsy, speeding, running red lights or not wearing a seat belt. These disturbing results come as nearly 33,000 Americans died in car crashes in 2014, and preliminary estimates project a nine percent increase in deaths for 2015.

“There is a culture of indifference for far too many drivers when it comes to road safety,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “The vast majority of motorists believe they are more careful than others on the road, though most of them are not making safe decisions while behind the wheel. We’re asking every driver to make responsible decisions to make the roads safer for everyone.”

The report finds that 1 in 3 drivers have had a friend or relative seriously injured or killed in a crash, and 1 in 5 have been involved in a crash that was serious enough for someone to go to the hospital. Common unsafe behaviors include:

Distracted Driving

  • More than 2 in 3 drivers (70 percent) report talking on a cell phone while driving within the past 30 days. Nearly 1 in 3 drivers (31 percent) report doing this fairly often or regularly.
  • More than 2 in 5 drivers (42 percent) admit to reading a text message or email while driving in the past 30 days, while 12 percent report doing this fairly often or regularly. Nearly 1 in 3 drivers (32 percent) admit to typing or sending a text or email over the past month, while eight percent say they do so fairly often or regularly.
  • Over 80 percent of drivers view distracted driving as a bigger problem than three years ago.
  • Previous research by NHTSA estimates that distracted driving is a factor in at least 3,000 deaths per year, though the actual number is likely much higher. Drivers who take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds can double their risk of being in a crash.

Speeding

  • Nearly half of all drivers (48 percent) report going 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway in the past month, while 15 percent admit doing so fairly often or regularly.
  • About 45 percent of drivers report going 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street in the past 30 days, and 11 percent admit doing so fairly often or regularly.
  • Previous research by NHTSA estimates that speed plays a factor in nearly 10,000 deaths per year. Drivers are more likely to be seriously injured or killed at higher speeds, and speeding increases the risk of being in a crash because there is less time and distance available to respond.

Drowsy Driving

  • Nearly 1 in 3 drivers (32 percent) say they have driven when they were so tired they had a hard time keeping their eyes open in the past 30 days. More than 1 in 5 (22 percent) admitted doing this more than once during that time.
  • Previous research by the AAA Foundation estimates that drowsy driving is a factor in an average of 328,000 crashes annually, including 109,000 crashes that result in injuries and 6,400 fatal crashes.

Red-light Running

  • More than 1 in 3 drivers (39 percent) admit to having driven through a light that had just turned red when they could have stopped safely during the past 30 days. About 1 in 4 drivers (26 percent) reported doing this more than once during that time.
  • Previous research by NHTSA estimates that 697 people were killed and 127,000 were injured in crashes that involved red-light running in 2013.

Seatbelt Use

  • Nearly 1 in 5 drivers (18 percent) report driving without a seatbelt within the past 30 days, and more than 1 in 7 (15 percent) admit to doing this more than once.
  • Previous research by NHTSA estimates that nearly half of all vehicle occupants who died in a crash in 2013 were unrestrained at the time of the crash. Seatbelts can reduce the risk of fatal injury by more than 45 percent.

Impaired Driving

  • More than 1 in 8 motorists (13 percent) report driving when their alcohol level might have been near or over the legal limit within the past 12 months. About nine percent of drivers report doing this more than once over the past year.
  • Previous research by NHTSA estimates that there are nearly 10,000 deaths a year from crashes involving drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher, and impaired-driving crashes cost the country more than $50 billion per year.

The new survey results are part of the AAA Foundation’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, which identifies attitudes and behaviors related to driver safety. The survey data are from a sample of 2,442 licensed drivers ages 16 and older who reported driving in the past 30 days. The AAA Foundation issued its first Traffic Safety Culture Index in 2008, and the latest report is online at www.AAAFoundation.org.

Established by AAA in 1947, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, publicly-supported charitable educational and research organization. Dedicated to saving lives and reducing injuries on our roads, the Foundation’s mission is to prevent crashes and save lives through research and education about traffic safety. The Foundation has funded over 300 research projects designed to discover the causes of traffic crashes, prevent them and minimize injuries when they do occur.  Visit www.AAAFoundation.org for more information on this and other research.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 56 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA’s Driver Improvement Program, available both online and in classroom settings, helps drivers improve their skills and habits, teaching how they can reduce not only their own risk, but the risk of their passengers as well. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.  Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Gas Price Slide Stalls Near Seven-Year Low

February 22nd, 2016 by AAA

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, February 22, 2016) The national average for regular unleaded gasoline continues to hover at levels not seen since the Great Recession, largely due to abundant supplies and low crude oil costs. Today’s average price of $1.71 per gallon is the lowest price for this date since 2004, and pump prices have fallen for 41 of the past 47 days for a total savings of 29 cents per gallon. Consumers are paying one cent more per gallon to refuel their vehicles on the week, though average prices are down by 13 cents per gallon on the month and 58 cents per gallon on the year.

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Gas prices are likely move higher as we head into the spring refinery maintenance season; however prices should remain lower than recent years. Refineries conducting maintenance will produce less fuel, though ample gasoline supply and lower-than-expected prices for crude oil should limit any seasonal price spikes. Some regional markets are beginning to reflect the effects of refinery production cuts, and prices have climbed in the Midwest on the week as a result.

Consumers in the vast majority of states (45) are paying retail averages below $2 per gallon. Missouri ($1.46) and Oklahoma ($1.46) are the nation’s least expensive markets, and pump prices are below $1.75 per gallon in a total of 36 states. On the other end of the spectrum, motorists in the West are paying some of the nation’s highest averages led by Hawaii ($2.57) and California ($2.32). Regional neighbors Alaska ($2.22), Washington ($2.02) and Nevada ($2.00) round out the top five most expensive markets for gasoline.

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Weekly comparisons show that gas prices are moving in different directions in various parts of the country. Pump prices are down in 30 states and Washington, D.C. on the week with the largest savings west of the Rockies: Arizona (-9 cents), California (-9 cents) and Nevada (-9 cents). Opposite this trend, drivers in 20 states are paying more week-over-week. Averages are up more than a nickel per gallon in 11 states and motorists in six states saw prices increase by double digits. The largest jumps in price were in Minnesota (+18 cents), Michigan (+15 cents) and Indiana (+14 cents). Averages in the Midwest could continue to climb higher as refineries in the region continue to reduce production due to ample supplies and low prices.

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Motorists in 47 states and Washington, D.C. are benefitting from monthly savings in the price to refuel their vehicles. Retail averages are down by more than a nickel per gallon in the vast majority (46) of states and prices are down by double-digit increments on the month in 40 states and Washington, D.C.  The largest savings over this period are in California (-36 cents), Nevada (-35 cents), Arizona (-31 cents) and Alaska (-27 cents), where averages are down by more than a quarter per gallon on the month. Pump prices in the West continue to drop largely due to abundant refinery production and supplies. Outside of this trend of monthly savings are the Midwestern states of Ohio (+10 cents), Indiana (+10 cents) and Michigan (+9 cents), where pump prices have climbed higher on the month by around a dime per gallon.

Retail averages are down in every state and Washington, D.C. year-over-year. With the exception of Idaho (-9 cents) and Utah (-20 cents), drivers nationwide are experiencing savings of more than a quarter per gallon at the pump on the year. Averages in the majority of states (41) are down by 50 cents or more per gallon over this same period, with the largest yearly discounts in price in  Kansas (-70 cents), Kentucky (-69 cents) and Missouri (-69 cents).

The global price for crude oil continues to move based on speculation regarding the market’s future balance between supply and demand. A possible freeze in production, spearheaded by OPEC member Saudi Arabia, grabbed the attention of market watchers for much of last week, but failed to produce any real gains in price, as the likelihood of a deal remains questionable. It also is unlikely that a production freeze near current levels would have any effect on reducing abundant global supplies.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate crude oil was down $1.13 to settle at $29.64 per barrel.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, February 16, 2016) The national average price of gas increased today for the first time in 20 days, but average prices are still at levels not seen since January 2009. The national average has fallen for 42 out of 47 days this year for a total savings of 30 cents per gallon. Today’s average price of $1.70 represents a savings of three cents per gallon on the week, 20 cents per gallon on the month and 55 cents per gallon compared to this same date last year.

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Typical for this time of year, refinery production is beginning to drop as many refineries prepare for seasonal maintenance in advance of the summer driving season. In addition, some refineries reportedly have cut production because of abundant supplies and low prices. This decline in production has led to higher prices throughout the Midwest and slowed recent declines in the national average price of gas. Industry analysts expect this year’s spring maintenance season to peak in April, and pump prices are likely to rise in the coming months due to fluctuations in supply and demand associated with this process. However, unlike previous years, gasoline inventories are reportedly at higher-than-normal levels and the price of crude oil remains low. The combination of these two factors should help keep gas prices relatively low compared to recent years, though prices are likely to be a good deal higher by Memorial Day than they are today.

Hawaii ($2.61) is the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline and averages in the state are 21 cents per gallon higher than second-place California ($2.40). Alaska ($2.26), Nevada ($2.07) and Washington ($2.04) round out the top five most expensive markets and are the only states where drivers are paying average prices above the $2 per gallon threshold. The nation’s least expensive markets for gas are Oklahoma ($1.41), Missouri ($1.41) and Kansas ($1.44), and motorists in a total of 34 states are paying averages at or below $1.75 per gallon.

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Gas prices in the majority of states (43) are down on the week. The largest weekly savings are in states west of the Rockies, including Nevada (-12 cents), California (-10 cents) and Arizona (-10 cents). Consumers in 11 states are benefitting from savings of a nickel or more per gallon over this same period. On the other end of the spectrum, prices are higher week-over-week in seven states with the biggest jumps in the Midwestern states of Indiana (+7 cents), Ohio (+7 cents) and Michigan (+6 cents). Several refineries in this region have reduced production due to lower prices and abundant supplies, and pump prices could continue to rise throughout the region as a result.

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Monthly savings persist in every state and Washington, D.C., and with the exception of Hawaii (-3 cents) retail averages are down by double digits over this same period. Averages are lower in nine states by a quarter or more per gallon with the largest drops in California (-38 cents), Nevada (-36 cents) and Washington (-30 cents). This time last month the West Coast was dealing with lingering refinery challenges, which caused prices to move noticeably higher in the region. These refinery issues appear to be largely resolved and supply in the region has reportedly recovered, helping to push prices lower month-over-month.

The magnitude of yearly savings is beginning to widen again and retail averages are down in every state and Washington, D.C. year-over-year. Pump prices in the vast majority of states (47) are down by a quarter or more per gallon compared to a year ago, and motorists in 28 states are paying averages that are 50 cents or more per gallon less than this same date last year. The largest savings in price are in the Midwestern states of Illinois (-81 cents), Indiana (-76 cents), Michigan (-73 cents) and Ohio (-73 cents).

Speculation about future supply and demand is contributing to swings in the global price of crude oil. Market fundamentals continue to point to oversupply, though prices may continue to fluctuate in the near-term as rumors of production cuts and possible deals between OPEC and non-OPEC member countries influence the market.

Despite the lower price environment, there has not yet been a major reduction in U.S. oil production. WTI fell to its lowest point in nearly 13 years last week, largely due to an abundance of domestic oil supplies. The latest data from the EIA indicated a drop in crude oil stocks for the first time this year, though inventories remain elevated and are likely to increase in the coming weeks.

WTI rallied to end the week, and at the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, was up $3.23 to settle at $29.44 per barrel. The NYMEX was closed yesterday in observance of the President’s Day holiday.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Michael Green Contact Tile(Washington, February 8, 2016) Domestic crude oil inventories reached their highest level for this time of year in nearly eight decades, and barring any major disruptions in supply, gas prices are likely to remain near their lowest price point since the Great Recession in the near term. Today’s average price of $1.74 per gallon reflects a savings of $1.07 per gallon versus the 2015 peak price reached this past June, and gas prices have fallen for 31 of the past 33 days. Pump prices are down six cents per gallon on the week, 24 cents per gallon on the month, and consumers are saving 44 cents per gallon versus this same date last year.

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Gasoline demand typically begins to increase starting in February, reaching its peak in August, and this month also marks the beginning of the spring refinery maintenance season. The combination of increased demand and reduced supply often leads to upward swings in the price at the pump, and historically as a result averages have climbed higher during this seven-month period (February –August). Unlike previous years, both gasoline and crude oil supplies are at record levels and two of the nation’s more volatile markets, the Midwest and the West, are both reporting ample supply. The convergence of these factors may point to a possible shift in the status quo, provided crude oil prices remain relatively low and absent any major disruptions in supply or production.

Drivers in the majority (44) of states continue to pay gas prices below $2 per gallon. Oklahoma ($1.42) and Missouri ($1.43) are the nation’s least expensive markets and a total of 30 states are posting averages at or below $1.75 per gallon. Hawaii ($2.63) leads the market with a pump price that is double-digits above second-place California ($2.50). Regional neighbors Alaska ($2.34), Nevada ($2.20) and Washington ($2.09) join in the rankings and round out the nation’s top five most expensive markets for retail gasoline.

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Pump prices are down in nearly every state (49) week-over-week and consumers in 20 states are saving a nickel or more per gallon at the pump. The largest weekly discounts in price are in the Midwestern states of Ohio (-14 cents), Indiana (-14 cents) and Michigan (-13 cents). Gas prices in this region are known to fluctuate and these same three states were posting the largest weekly increases in last week’s report. Delaware (+1 cent) is the only state to buck this trend of weekly savings.

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Monthly savings for motorists are universal, as gas prices are down in every state and Washington, D.C. over this period. Drivers in the Midwestern states of Indiana (-40 cents), Illinois (-40 cents), Ohio (-38 cents), and Michigan (-38 cents) are saving the most month-over-month and averages are down more than a quarter per gallon in a total of 13 states. Hawaii (-5 cents) is the only state where drivers are not benefiting from double-digit discounts in the price to refuel their vehicles on the month.

This time last year (February 2015) retail averages climbed higher for 40 consecutive days and as a result the magnitude of year-over-year savings is beginning to widen again. Gas prices are down in nearly every state (49) and Washington, D.C, versus this same date last year. Averages in 12 states are down 50 cents or more, and pump prices in 43 states and Washington, D.C. are down a quarter or more per gallon on the year. The largest yearly savings are seen by drivers in the Midwestern states of Indiana (-79 cents), Ohio (-75 cents), Michigan (-72 cents) and Illinois (-72 cents). Idaho (+6 cents) is the only state where prices are up year-over-year. This is in contrast to last week’s report where prices were down by 50 cents or more in only one state, and prices in handful (5) of states were up on the year.

Slower-than-expected growth in China, a strengthening U.S. dollar, and ongoing speculation about what, if any, deals the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries may attempt broker on production are all weighing on the global oil market. Market fundamentals remain skewed due to oversupply and geopolitical tensions, even when between OPEC member countries, have had little impact on price due to the market’s current imbalance.

Domestic gasoline and crude oil supply are at record levels. The year’s refinery maintenance ramp up is expected to reduce gasoline inventories, which could help bring a bit of balance to the gasoline market; however, this will likely not have the same impact on crude oil. The lower price environment has yet to lead to any real cuts in U.S. production, and to date has only contributed to reports of falling rig counts and the oil and gas sector shedding jobs.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI was down 83 cents and settled at $30.89 per barrel.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Michael Green Contact Tile(Washington, January 25, 2016) Gas prices have spent 25 consecutive days below $2 per gallon and could head lower still as reduced seasonal demand and falling crude oil costs combine to send pump prices to the lowest mark in six years. Today’s average price of $1.83 per gallon is the cheapest price since January 2009, and retail averages have fallen for 69 of the past 80 days for a total savings of 40 cents per gallon over this span. Crude oil supply continues to outpace demand, which has helped push gas prices down by seven cents on the week, 18 cents on the month and 21 cents on the year.

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A historic blizzard hit the Northeast over the weekend. The Mid-Atlantic was the hardest region hit, and a number of states in the area received more than two feet of snow. Severe weather can make it difficult for refiners to produce gasoline and can create hurdles for getting the product to market. However, storms also keep drivers off of roads, which can limit demand. Early reports indicate that PBF Energy shut down its Delaware City refinery, citing power failure due to the blizzard conditions. Averages in the region could possibly move higher in the coming days if refinery and distribution problems persist.

Motorists in just 11states and Washington, D.C. are paying an average above $2 per gallon. California ($2.67) continues to lead the market, however the resolution of refinery issues in the state has narrowed the difference between the Golden State and second-place Hawaii ($2.63). Regional neighbors Alaska ($2.44), Nevada ($2.34) and Washington ($2.24) round out the top five most expensive markets for retail gasoline. Consumers in Oklahoma ($1.53) and Missouri ($1.54) are paying the nation’s lowest averages at the pump, followed by the Midwestern states of Indiana ($1.55), Ohio ($1.56) and Michigan ($1.59).

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Weekly price comparisons reflect that consumers nationwide are enjoying savings in the price to refuel their vehicles. Averages are down in the majority of states (29) by a nickel or more per gallon, and prices in four states located in the Midwest: Michigan (-13 cents), Ohio (-13 cents), Indiana (-13 cents) and Illinois (-12 cents) are down double-digits. With refinery utilization rates reportedly running at upwards of 98 percent and gasoline inventories also building, drivers in the region are likely to continue to benefit from noticeable savings at the pump. Nevertheless, gas prices in the region are often unpredictable and changes in the market can happen quickly.

Consumers in nearly every state (49) are benefitting from more than a nickel per gallon in savings month-over-month. Retail averages are down double-digits in 46 states and Washington, D.C., and prices are down a quarter or more per gallon in a total of five states. Similar to week-over-week comparisons, the largest discounts are in the Midwest: Ohio (-36 cents), Indiana (-36 cents), Michigan (-33 cents) and Illinois (-29 cents). Alaska is the only state to buck this trend, and prices are up by a nickel per gallon on the month.

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Pump prices remain discounted year-over-year in the majority of states (45), though the magnitude of yearly savings continues to narrow because retail averages had already fallen dramatically in January 2015. Consumers in 43 states and Washington, D.C. are saving a dime or more per gallon at the pump and prices are discounted by more than 50 cents per gallon in two states: Hawaii (-63 cents) and Indiana (-52 cents). On the other end of the spectrum, prices are higher on the year in California (+21 cents), Idaho (+17 cents), Nevada (+13 cents), Utah (+7 cents) and Washington (+7 cents).

Global oversupply and the anticipation that additional oil will soon enter the market with the lifting of sanctions on Iran, contributed to both benchmarks—Brent and West Texas Intermediate—trading last week at lows unseen since 2003. Market fundamentals remain unchanged and a “lower-for-longer” sentiment is beginning to prevail amongst speculators. Talks are now shifting to whether the market has reached its bottom and if, or when, the necessary adjustments in supply will occur in order to help bring the crude oil market more into balance.

To the surprise of many and despite this bearish sentiment, both benchmarks closed out the week with a two-day rally.  This shift is likely the result of trading volatility and is not attributed to any correction in the imbalance between supply and demand. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up nearly 9.5 percent, with a gain of $2.66 to settle at $32.19 per barrel.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

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